While Americans were distracted by yet another Hollywood-type revelation Nov. 16, Congress passed a sweeping Republican Tax Reform Bill. President Trump benefits directly if the bill passes the Senate to become law.
Based his 2005 tax filing, the only tax return available after it was leaked to a reporter, he would save more than $30 million in the alternative minimum tax. Other reports say his heirs would save $1.1 billion on the estate tax.
Our 7th District Republican Congressman, Sean Duffy, voted yes on the bill.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., as of Nov. 17, said he would vote no.
Duffy continues to stand with Trump.
What's in this bill and how will it affect working people from Wisconsin?
On the House floor, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, made an impassioned speech, saying this bill hammers working class people and the only jobs it will create will be in Beijing, China.
He said there are two big winners here — corporate America and China.
"These tax cuts will require we borrow $1.5 trillion from primarily China and possibly Saudi Arabia. After 10 years of paying interest, the cost will rise to $2.3 trillion.
In this bill, the benefits that may go to corporate America will be made permanent while the slight benefits that may go to middle class families is gone after a year or two. Millions of middle class Americans are going to see a tax increase."
He goes on to say, "if you look at the deductions, for example, student loan deductions are gone, medical health care deductions are gone, and if you are a graduate student, you will see a 300 to 400 percent increase in your tax bill. The salt in the wound, Ryan said, is the bill will keep the deduction that allows corporations to deduct expenses for moving jobs from the U.S. to
other countries. He goes on, "in this day and age, after what Trump campaigned on in places like Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, this is a joke that they would keep that in there. The American people are finding out the true colors of this president and I will tell you that last week, when I was back home and did a lot of events over Veteran's Day, the shine is off the apple. With President Trump, a lot of people are having buyers' remorse ... and as they see this tax plan unfold it's going to be even more so."
In response to the Republican argument that this tax cut to the wealthy will grow the economy, Ryan said, "it's a canard, it is baseless. In 2000, President Bush did the same thing, he cut taxes for the rich and said the benefit would trickle down. That decade had the slowest growth of any decade going all the way back to the Great Depression and it ended in an economic collapse ... we are still in some ways digging our way out of."
That economic theory is a joke, it just doesn't work. There is absolutely no evidence that supply side economics works. You have to have investments back into the people of the country. What supply side economics has done is that it's not only concentrated wealth, but it is concentrated opportunity, so people in certain swaths of the country lack the opportunity to work their way out of their economic situation or have no stability in their current situation.
The problem with this theory is it doesn't work and we can't afford to go to China and borrow $2.3 trillion dollars. We cannot afford to not reinvest back into the country and give to the wealthiest people.
Asked what is the recourse now, Ryan replied, "talk to your senators about the facts."
Johnson can be reached at (202) 224-5323.
I sincerely hope Americans can have a dialog about the benefits and risks of this tax plan, and not respond with the usual shock talk.
Susan Hansen of Shell Lake, Wis., served as a campaign manager for Democratic candidate Mary Hoeft in the 2016 Congressional race.